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By Hanleigh Daniels 8 August 2011

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Skullcandy hooks up with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation entertainment company, birthing the ultra-cool Roc Nation Aviator headphones (promo video posted below). Is this another case of expensive audio fashion over acoustic function, or do these earphones have the sound power to match its potent price tag?
 
Design

Over-the-head headphones are pretty hot right now, with the Aviators about as cool as it gets. This thanks to a design incorporating quality metals such as stainless steel and aluminum, polycarbonate headphone cups and plush memory foam ear cushions. It feels durable and is very comfortable on the ears, plus it’s foldable to easily fit in the included travel pouch. A 1.3 m anti-tangle braided nylon cord means that even the loftiest users will easily connect the ear gear.

Sound performance

As one can demand from a headset with a R2k price-tag, the sound quality is very good. Sound levels are much higher compared to your average pair of headphones, but even more impressive is the fact that at the highest volume settings, the sound quality remains excellent and doesn’t distort at all. Bass-levels are very good and thanks to the ear cups there’s also a decent amount of noise suppression to keep harsh real-world noises at bay.

As your music playing device will more than likely be carried inside your pocket, the job of controlling the music playback falls on the integrated in-line controls, located about 10 cm or so below the left ear phone cup. These controls are simple to use, but the only hassle is its close proximity to the headset since this makes it awkward (at least initially) to see which button you’re pressing.
  
 
Final word

Skullcandy’s Roc Nation Aviator headphone go for a pricey R1999, for which you get stylish and practical (barring the placement of the in-line controls) set of headphones, boasting really impressive sound levels and quality, as well as a truly palpable sense of quality in terms of construction and design.

Pro

Excellent sound quality and levels, good-looking, sturdy and practical design, simple to use in-line controls and carry bag included.

Con

Certainly not cheap and the close proximity of the in-line controls to the headphones.
 
 
PROS
Excellent sound quality and levels, good-looking, sturdy and practical design, simple to use in-line controls and carry bag included.
CONS
Certainly not cheap and the close proximity of the in-line controls to the headphones.
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